Would you rather have one second of peace and calm followed by one trillion seconds of persecution and turmoil, or one second of persecution followed by one trillion seconds of unimaginably blissful peace? The thing that happens for that one second, whether it is peace or persecution, is so miniscule, so temporary, that it is irrelevant compared to the thing that happens next. In that case, we would be foolish to focus on the thing that is temporary, and instead should be focused on the thing that seems eternal.
In John 14:27, Jesus says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” By saying this, Jesus distinguishes between the peace that the world offers, and the peace that comes from the Savior. The peace that the world offers is a momentary cessation of violence between people or nations, but offers no reconciliation with God. The peace that Jesus offers is reconciliation with God, but with the expectation of persecution from the world. The world and everything in it is perishing and temporary, while God’s kingdom is eternal.
A quick glimpse of the world shows a lack of peace on Earth. Nations form treaties with each other, and neighbors use negotiated settlements to attempt to reconcile, but there is a never-ending list of bullies, tyrants and thugs who perpetuate violence on scales large and small. The peace that the world seeks is fleeting at best, and is perhaps better described as an illusion. The worst part of the world’s approach to peace is that it ignores the need to attain peace with our Creator.
In His infinite wisdom, God decided to use our time in this material world to determine where we would spend eternity. Into this world He sent His one and only son, Jesus the Christ child, born the Prince of Peace. For many, they will reject the Son and seek simply to do their own will, and whatever peace they find along the way will pass in the blink of an eye. They will not enjoy eternal peace and rest. However, for some, they will rejoice in the Son and seek to do God’s will, and whatever persecution that brings in this world will quickly be forgotten. For those who have been reconciled to God, their peace will have no end, and they will rejoice in the house of the Lord forever.
Peace and blessings – Pastor Aaron